Health News Roundup: Moderna reports surprise profit, sets out road map for RSV vaccine; Why are South Korean trainee doctors on strike over medical school quotas? and more

The health regulator said it was working to ensure that manufacturers, distributors and sellers do not illegally market unauthorized gadgets that claim to measure blood glucose levels. Dismayed South Korean patients urge resolution of doctors' protest Three days into a mass walkout by trainee doctors, patients in South Korea expressed growing worry and frustration on Thursday as hospitals nationwide delayed surgeries and emergency rooms turned away patients.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 22-02-2024 18:36 IST | Created: 22-02-2024 18:26 IST
Health News Roundup: Moderna reports surprise profit, sets out road map for RSV vaccine; Why are South Korean trainee doctors on strike over medical school quotas? and more
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Moderna reports surprise profit, sets out road map for RSV vaccine

Moderna on Thursday reported a surprise fourth-quarter profit, helped by cost cutting and some deferred payments, and the vaccine maker set out a commercial roadmap for its experimental respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) shot. Shares of the company jumped 8% to $94.68 in premarket trading. They, however, are well below the record high of $497.49 hit during the peak of the COVID pandemic in 2021.

Why are South Korean trainee doctors on strike over medical school quotas?

Almost 8,000 trainee doctors have walked off the job in South Korea to protest a government plan to admit more students to medical schools, and more are expected to join them. Trainee doctors say the government needs to address pay and working conditions first before boosting the number of physicians, while authorities say more staff are needed to increase healthcare services in remote areas and meet the growing demands of one of the world's most rapidly ageing societies.

South Korea hospitals on red alert as doctors ramp up protests

Emergency departments at all but one of South Korea's biggest hospitals were on red alert on Thursday as trainee doctors vowed to stay off the job in protest at government plans to increase medical school admissions to boost the healthcare sector. The protests by almost two-thirds of the country's young doctors, which began this week, has forced hospitals to turn away patients and cancel procedures, raising fears about further disruptions to the medical system should the dispute drag on.

Teleflex beats quarterly profit estimates on strong demand for medical devices

Teleflex reported fourth-quarter profit above Wall Street estimates on Thursday, on the back of strong demand for its medical devices and surgical equipment. Rivals such as Stryker, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson have recently benefited from a post-pandemic increase in demand for devices used in surgeries.

Novavax settles dispute with international vaccine group Gavi

Novavax said on Thursday it has agreed to pay back international vaccine group Gavi at least $475 million in cash or vaccines by the end of 2028, settling a dispute over canceled orders that had created financial uncertainty for the U.S. maker of COVID-19 shots. Gavi, an alliance that co-finances vaccine purchases with low-income countries, paid Novavax $700 million over 2021 and 2022 for up to 350 million doses of its COVID vaccine.

More than half the world faces high measles risk, WHO says

More than half the world's countries will be at high or very high risk of measles outbreaks by the end of the year unless urgent preventative measures are taken, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday. Measles cases have been increasing across most regions mainly due to missed vaccinations during the COVID-19 years when health systems were overwhelmed and fell behind on routine vaccinations for preventable diseases.

India pharma companies develop versions of Wegovy to get in on weight-loss windfall

Indian drugmakers aiming to grab a slice of the burgeoning weight-loss treatment sales pie, both at home and abroad, have begun developing their own versions of Novo Nordisk's wildly in demand Wegovy. With some analysts predicting a weight-loss market reaching $100 billion a year or more by the end of the decade, executives at Sun Pharma, Cipla, Dr Reddy's and Lupin -- some of the world's largest generic drugmakers -- all said they have started work on Wegovy versions.

Drugmaker Hikma expects profit to be slightly lower in 2024

British drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals reported a bigger-than-expected profit for 2023 on Thursday, helped by a strong performance of its generics businesses, but expects profit to be slightly lower this year. The company said its core operating profit jumped 19% to $707 million in the year ended on Dec. 31, higher than analysts' expectation of about $689 million, according to a company-compiled consensus.

US FDA warns against using smartwatches to measure blood glucose

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers on Wednesday against using smartwatches or smart rings that claim to measure blood glucose levels without piercing the skin, regardless of manufacturer or brand. The health regulator said it was working to ensure that manufacturers, distributors and sellers do not illegally market unauthorized gadgets that claim to measure blood glucose levels.

Dismayed South Korean patients urge resolution of doctors' protest

Three days into a mass walkout by trainee doctors, patients in South Korea expressed growing worry and frustration on Thursday as hospitals nationwide delayed surgeries and emergency rooms turned away patients. With more than 8,400 doctors staying off the job in a protest over government plans to step up medical school admissions and no immediate sign of resolution, some of the sick and hurt voiced concerns about getting treatment.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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